1919 Russian Hydrological Institute (RHI) was established, at the initiative of the Academy of Sciences, for the comprehensively studying natural waters, developing methods for hydrological research, calculations and forecasts, solving theoretical problems of hydrology, and providing industry with hydrological information and products

1920 The first expedition “Olonetskaya” was organized by the Institute.

1926 RHI was renamed the State Hydrological Institute (SHI) by the People's Commissariat.

1930 SHI was moved to the USSR Hydrometeorological Service and approved as the hydrological research institution of All-Union significance.

1933 Valdai Field Station was established; currently it is the Valdai SHI branch which is the internationally known centre of experimental hydrological research. Its main activities are related to improving the methodological and measurement basis in the fields of hydrology and meteorology.

1940 The first Cadastre on Land Waters was established using the results of hydrological observations till 1935. The first plan was developed for building the State basic hydrological network.

1941-1945 Military and hydrological references about the hydrometeorological regime were prepared.

1944 SHI was awarded with the Order of Red Banner of Labour for outstanding achievements in the development of Soviet Hydrology in connection with its 25th anniversary.

1946 In the “Ilichevo” village the Main Experimental Base was established. This included Channel and Hydrophysical Laboratories, and an automated hydrometric reference system used for testing and calibrating gauging equipment.

1950 SHI Lammin SuoMarsh Station was opened for the development of wetlands hydrology as a science and the organization of the network of hydrometeorological observations in the marshes in the frame of the Hydrometeorological Service.

1960s The large-scale experimental studies of evaporation from the soil and water were organized and the theory of channel processes was developed. A large study was carried out into the connection between the reconstruction of large river basins (Volga, Dnieper and Don) with the construction of water reservoirs on them. There were studies of the water balance and hydrometeorological regime of the Rybinsk reservoir, Kuibyshev, Tsimlyansk etc., many of these studies set up hydrometeorological observatories. A complex of research expeditions was compeleted.

1970s There were expeditions to the lands in Kazakhstan and Altai region, as well as in areas of the Kursk magnetic anomaly, to assess and forecast possible changes in the regime and water balance under the influence of the development of iron ore deposits. Large field studies were carried out in Western Siberia associated with the development areas of oil and gas deposits. The All-Union normative document "Guidelines for calculation of basic hydrological characteristics" was issued.

1980s The development of the hydrological network (7,650 hydrological stations) reached it maximum, and the impact of various economic activities on water resources and hydrological regime of water bodies was estimated: deforestation and reforestation, ploughing, urbanization, etc. The second Water Cadastre, which includes three series of multi-volume monographs, was prepared. There were expedition studies to the areas of oil and gas in Siberia and a large-scale hydrological study of lands in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

1990s Methodological approaches were developed and there was the estimation and forecast of the impact of economic activities on water resources in the major river basins of different regions and the country as a whole. Normative documentation on runoff calculation was developed. A deterministic model of the runoff formation in the basin with distributed parameters was used with a focus on the use of standard hydrometeorological information. Expeditionary research in the areas of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, oil and gas regions of Siberia were undertaken. The main hydro-physical characteristics of thawed and frozen soils were defined, and many mathematical models of hydrophysical processes were developed. 

2000s There was the evaluation of the hydrological situation in the areas affected by dangerous floods in Lensk and Krymsk cities, the Kuban and Amur basins. Scientific methodological support for the modernization and development of the hydrological network was provided. A contribution was made to the provision of hydrological information for the design of the Sochi Olympic Games.